Autumn gardens in all their glory.

We have just got back after a week and a bit away. We went to a wedding in London first where our son had the pleasant duty of giving his Mother in Law away, then as we were over in that part of the country, the next day we headed down to Sussex Prairies Garden, stopping at the National Trust garden, Nymans,  on the way, this was a surprise to me, I knew nothing about stopping at this one!

Autumn colour at Nymans

The autumn colours were quite evident when we first entered the garden, making a good contrast with the evergreens.

The first hint

The first hint of the joys to come! We last visited many years ago and I remembered that the double borders were full of annuals backed by I think a yew hedge, so I was wondering what we would find.

Right hand border

The big hedge has gone and now the double borders are full of late summer perennials, looking just magnificent with large blocks of each plant contrasting with its neighbour. A few plants had gone over, but this didn’t spoil the overall picture.

Left hand border

These borders certainly show that a garden isn’t finished by the month of October. The main purpose of visiting these gardens on this holiday was to get more ideas for the border by the field which I started to change last year. The planting there is looking very new and lets be honest, a bit pathetic in places !


I obviously need to move  plants that I already have spaced out along the border and bring them together to form larger blocks of colour. I also have some of the same plants in different parts of the garden, so I can see that in the next few weeks I will be playing musical plants once more!



To save having to buy all these extra plants, I will have to take cuttings of some and hope that I haven’t left it too late for this year.


Dahlias were forming huge blocks of colour and the silver leaved plants showed a beautiful contrast.

The house at Nymans

The house isn’t habitable any more, I think there was a fire many, many years ago.

Eucryphia Nymansay

Euchryphia Nymansay is the name of this beautiful tree, named after the house here. Legend has it that some seedlings were grown on and labelled A Band C.


This was seedling A which became Nymansay, really gorgeous flowers.

Hint of autumn

Having walked round more of the garden, I am drawn back to the double borders which are behind the topiary in the distance.

autumn colours

I need more asters and rudbeckias, also I have lots of penstemon cuttings in the greenhouse which can be used and I need to buy some helianthus to make a tall patch of yellow.

Double borders

If this first garden has inspired me so much, I’m not going to have room for all the ideas that are swimming round my head, by the time we come home again!

Last of the double borders

A last look at the double borders before we leave for Sussex Prairies Garden, if this has inspired me, then what will the next garden do, will I want to rip everything out and start all over again?! Give me a couple of days to catch up with myself and I will let you know!

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28 Responses to Autumn gardens in all their glory.

  1. rusty duck says:

    Beautiful, and totally inspiring!
    I used to have a Euchryphia Nymansay and had forgotten how lovely they are. It is back on my list.
    How late can we safely move plants, in Devon? I still have loads to do.

    • Pauline says:

      Jessica, there was one here too when we moved here, and I stupidly let it get crowded out by the shrubs next to it, eventually it died, I really ought to buy another.
      I think we still have a few weeks down here to move plants, as long as it isn’t frosty things should be ok or that’s what I’m hoping!

  2. I’m not surprised you came away from those borders buzzing with ideas, they are wonderful, so much colour and texture. Of course then I immediately want to know what they look like earlier in the year before the asters etc start strutting their stuff. Enjoy playing musical plants, definitely one of my favourite occupations, and this is the perfect time of year for it.

    • Pauline says:

      Janet, this garden was a bonus, I wasn’t expecting to stop there and was pleasantly surprised. I knew a couple that we were going to would be good, but this was a very good start. There were a few gaps in the borders where some flowers had finished, maybe they have lots of earlier bulbs in between the asters. We have a few weeks before the frosts start and then they aren’t usually too bad here, so I can see me being busy swapping things around.

  3. Wendy says:

    It is lovely to see so much colour in the borders at this time of year. I definitely need more asters and rudbeckias, too – they are a ‘must’ on my list for next year.

  4. Christina says:

    The gardens were still looking amazing Pauline, what a treat to have such a nice surprise.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a super surprise Christina to suddenly find that we were driving into the car park, then when I saw the double borders, it was wonderful!

  5. Anna says:

    Oh what a glorious splash of autumn colour Pauline. Good luck with your plans for
    re -jigging. Sad to read that the house is no longer occupied. It looks so full of character and history. Now if Nymans was a surprise pit stop I’m looking forward to seeing what delights you came across at Sussex Prairie Gardens.

    • Pauline says:

      Anna,I had read so much about Sussex Prairies, it was a “must” knowing that we would be fairly close and I wasn’t disappointed! Part of the house is just ruins with no roof, but there is an exhibition gallery in another part.

  6. Wow, what a treat to visit thess gardens via your eyes and thoughts. It is such a lovely place. I’m sorry to learn that the house is not habitable because it is a grand looking
    structure with, I’m sure, lots of history. Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure. Blessings, Natalie

  7. Cathy says:

    Wow – those borders are astonishing, Pauline! And a lesson to us that we CAN have more colour in our gardens in October – with a bit of forward thinking. As Anna says, what a shame the house isn’t habitable – the structure looks basically sound but presumably it needs someone with a lot of cash to finance an internal overhaul

    • Pauline says:

      They are good aren’t they Cathy, if only I could get mine to look something like that! Part of the building doesn’t have a roof but part that does is used as exhibition space, I agree, lovely structure.

  8. Sally says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring place! It must have been a blast to visit and get great ideas.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Sally, lovely to hear from you, thanks for stopping by and leaving a message. It really was a wonderfully colourful part of the garden, amazing for this time of year.

  9. The gardens and architecture is absolutely stunning, thank you so much for sharing your photos.

  10. Gitte says:

    I can easily understand why you get inspired here. What a lovely garden. It does look good with large blocks of flowers.

    • Pauline says:

      All the colour Gitte, was so beautiful and such an inspiration. The large blocks of colour showed up so well against each other, they made a real impact.

  11. Cathy says:

    Gardens like these offer tonnes of inspiration – those borders are full of gorgeous plants! I like the contrast those silver leaves give too. Have fun planning!

    • Pauline says:

      You’re so right Cathy, they are inspiring and we can all learn from them, I know I can! There were quite a few silver leaved plants with purple foliage too which formed a nice contrast to all the flowers.

  12. Angie says:

    Crikey Pauline – there is plenty of inspiration to be had, how are you going to stop yourself from being over inspired 🙂
    We will all be looking forward to seeing what you create.
    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. How lovely would it be to live in that house!

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, it was inspiring and I have so many ideas buzzing around, must sort my ideas out and not go mad with too many plants! It would be a lovely house to live in, I agree, if someone else did all the housework!

  13. Caro says:

    I’ve heard about Nymans but never visited so it’s great to read about it here. It looks a lovely space to visit and interesting to note what is still looking good. I enjoy seeing gardens out of season, you get to spot the gaps! Looking forward to reading about Sussex Prairies!

    • Pauline says:

      It is a lovely garden Caro, previously we have visited during the summer and it was full of colour then too. Gardens open this late are an inspiration with good ideas how to extend the season. I have now got my photos ready about Sussex Prairies, so you won’t have to wait too long!

  14. Annie_H says:

    I love catching up on your holiday posts, you always visit some lovely gardens and I can see why you were so inspired by this one. It really does show that gardening doesn’t end in September. I’ve also just discovered that Eucryphia in a garden this year, it was so stunning I had to ask what it was. It was covered in bees as well. Aah you are really going to be buzzing with ideas from this holiday. I’m looking forward to reading your other posts.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Annie, I always like to include some gardens, no matter where we go to on holiday. This one was a lovely surprise, and I’m so glad we stopped there, the double borders were certainly inspiring.

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